Installing the necessary software for this module involves a few key steps:
- Java JDK: Begin by downloading and installing the Java Development Kit (JDK). It provides the essential tools and libraries needed to develop Java applications.
- Maven: This is a tool that manages Java project dependencies.
- VS Code Insiders: You'll also need the Visual Studio Code Insiders edition, an optimized version of the popular code editor that offers new features before they're released to the main VS Code.
- Git: Git is a version control system for managing and tracking changes in projects.
- For Mac Users: If students are using Mac computers, there's an additional step required for TensorFlow, especially for the programs in Chapter 2: Computer Vision.
Detailed guidance on how to install each of these components can be found in Lesson 1 of Chapter 1: GitHub and Copilot. Following this lesson will provide a step-by-step walkthrough of the software installation process to ensure all tools are set up correctly for the module.
Catering to accessibility needs is crucial for an inclusive learning environment. Visual Studio Code (VS Code) comes equipped with a range of accessibility features designed to assist users with varying needs. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with these features and guide students on how to make the best use of them. Some notable features include:
- Screen Reader Support: VS Code is compatible with various screen readers.
- Keyboard Shortcuts: VS Code provides comprehensive keyboard shortcuts that can be invaluable for students with mobility issues or visual impairments.
- High Contrast Theme: For students with visual impairments, activating the high contrast theme can make the interface more legible.
- Zoom and Font Size Adjustments: Students can easily adjust the editor's zoom level and font size to better suit their visual needs.
You can learn more about these and additional accessibility features at code.visualstudio.com/docs/editor/accessibility.
Using VS Code on a Chromebook has become more straightforward, especially with the capability to run Linux apps on newer Chromebook models. Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started:
- Enable Linux (Beta) on Chromebook:
- Navigate to your Chromebook's settings.
- Look for the "Linux (Beta)" option in the sidebar or search for it.
- Click on "Turn on" or "Install" to activate the Linux feature. This will download the necessary files and set up a Linux container on your Chromebook.
- Open the Linux Terminal: After enabling Linux, you'll see a terminal app in your app drawer titled "Terminal." Open it.
- Update and Upgrade Packages: Before installing any new software, it's a good idea to update the existing packages. Run the following commands in the terminal (one at a time):
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
- Download VS Code: Go to the Visual Studio Code Insiders Download page. From there, you need to pick the right package for your Chromebook:
- For Chromebooks running an Intel or AMD chip, pick the .deb in variant 64 bit.
- If your Chromebook is running on an ARM64 chip, pick the .deb package in the variant ARM64 instead.
If you're unsure what kind of CPU your Chromebook is using, run the command
in the Linux terminal to find out. You'll see either amd64 (for both Intel and AMD chips, pick the 64 bit variant) or arm64 (pick ARM64).
- Install VS Code: After you've downloaded VS Code Insiders, you'll find the package in your Downloads folder. Double-click on the package to launch the installer. Your Chromebook will then install VS Code Insiders and all other dependencies.
For more information about installing VS Code on Chromebooks, check out this blog post.
Facing issues during software installation can be common, but there are systematic steps you can follow to troubleshoot and resolve them:
- Check System Requirements: Ensure your computer meets the minimum system requirements for the software you're trying to install. This information can usually be found on the software's official website or documentation.
- Re-download the Installer: Sometimes, the downloaded installer might be corrupt or incomplete. Delete the previous installer and download a fresh copy from the official source.
- Run as Administrator: For certain software, you might need administrative privileges to complete the installation. Right-click the installer and select "Run as Administrator" (on Windows) to grant these privileges.
- Disable Antivirus Temporarily: Occasionally, security software can flag and block certain installers. If you're confident that the software source is trusted, consider temporarily disabling your antivirus program and then attempt the installation again.
- Check for Error Messages: Any errors or pop-up messages during installation can provide clues about the problem. Search online for the exact error message to find potential solutions.
- Seek Expert Help: Your school's IT department might be able to assist. They may have encountered similar issues before and can provide guidance.